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Today’s consumers are already about three-fourths through the buying process before they even begin to interact with a seller — meaning consumers are more informed than ever before. That’s according to Diamond Mattress President Craig McAndrews. How do companies handle these savvy shoppers? Check out McAndrews’ advice for how to meet them head on.
It’s Waynette Goodson. I’m your managing editor of BedTimes Magazine. Welcome to this edition of “Inside the Mind of Today’s Mattress Shopper.” We have Craig McAndrews with us. He is the sultan of sleep for Diamond and the president of Diamond Mattress. So, Craig kick us off with just what is today’s mattress shopper? What are they looking for?
You know, it’s funny that they’re changing so much as the result of the economic stuff we have going on right now. But things that never changed. I think they’re looking for value. And then, you know, the other big thing I think customers are looking for today is solid reasons on, hey, why do I make this decision to say yes to a new mattress?
I mean, if you think about the pressure that people are under with how to spend their money, where should I where should it go? That I mean, that’s a, that’s a tough thing for people to try to make a decision on. So I think customers are likely more discerning than I think they have been, especially in the last year, year and a half, when everybody was doing everything for their home.
We’ve seen some shifts in that that I think are really important for retailers and for, quite frankly, wholesalers to understand what’s happening in the marketplace.
Well, now, how are you at Diamond? How are you meeting these new needs of today’s mattress consumer?
Yeah, I think for us, I mean, first of all, I’ve been here 60 days, so I’m still learning a lot of what we do, what we do here at Diamond. But I think one of the biggest ways is just – we’re talking a lot to our retail customers. You know, we’ve been fortunate at this market where we’ve had lots of traffic, which, you know, I keep hearing it’s slower.
in July, but it has not been here. And so we’ve been asking a lot of retailers, where are your pain points? What are you seeing from customers? And then, based on some of that feedback and feedback we’ve gotten in the past, we’re introducing new products that help retailers address the biggest areas of opportunity.
Okay. And speaking of a big area of opportunity and a challenge, especially for the bricks and mortar retailers, how are the Internet and online shopping? How is that continuing to shape the consumer’s mattress buying experience and what they’re looking for?
Yeah, well, I mean, if you look at any of the latest research, the percentage of consumers who start online, typically in the 90% to 95% range, and so it’s heavy start online. I think it’s the research on products, research on brands, and research on sleep. And so I think people are more and more informed about what they’re looking for before they even step into the marketplace.
And so as a result, I think retailers and manufacturers have to understand that the way in which we go to market and sell is different. It used to be the seller was the keeper of all info. Now the consumer has. Yeah, they have so much information at their fingertips.
I know you have your you have a professorial background. You are a former teacher as well. So coming from that sort of academic, what do you want to make sure that the audience knows about just good sales techniques for today to reach our mattress consumers?
Yeah, I think the biggest one, and we used to quote this particular number a lot when I was at the University of Houston, but buyers are traditionally 67% or 70% through the buying process before they even interact with a seller or a company. Now, in some industries, I think in the mattress industry, that’s likely a little less.
But the fact is that they’re more informed than ever, like the place that people have to start at retail is just straight up asking customers like, what do you know? What research have you done?
Thank you so much for your time, Craig, and thank you all for tuning in to “Inside the Mind of Today’s Mattress Shopper.” And we wish you a very good night’s sleep.